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$________ Lemon Law – Breach of express warranty – Breach of implied warranty of merchantability – Malfunction of boat purchased from defendant – Plaintiff is unable to use boat that he purchased from defendants due to its "lemon" status.

Ventura County, CA

In this matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants breached express and implied warranties with regard to their boat, which the plaintiff was unable to use despite numerous repairs by the defendants. The defendants denied any liability and maintained that it was simply buyer’s remorse.

The male plaintiff was an avid boater for 35 or more years. He purchased a brand new Tiara ________ Sovran yacht. This was the fourth Tiara boat that the plaintiff had purchased. The boat was built by the defendant S2 Yachts, Inc., which operated under the name Tiara Yachts. The boat was covered by standard express and extended protections warranties. The inboard propulsion system on the boat was manufactured by the defendant Volvo and was also covered by standard and extended warranty provisions.

The plaintiff contended that the boat was a lemon. On each of the plaintiff’s four extended open ocean trips the boat malfunctioned. The first malfunction resulted in a reduction of power to the boat’s electrical system. The next three malfunctions caused significant reductions in the Boat’s power and maneuverability. These malfunctions caused the plaintiff, his family and friends who were onboard at the time to be subjected to dangerous and frightening situations at sea.

The plaintiff maintained that prior to each of these trips, the boat had been deemed "good to go" by the two defendants. The plaintiff alleged that this was not the case. The pervasiveness of the problems caused the plaintiff’s family and friends to be unwilling to go on the boat with him. This effectively rendered the boat useless to the plaintiff since he had purchased the boat to take trips with his family and friends.

The plaintiff brought suit against the defendants alleging misrepresentations, breach of the express warranty and breach of the implied warranties of merchantability. The defendants denied the allegations. The defendants contended that all warranties had been complied with and that the boat had been repaired, was functional and there was no problem. The defendants attempted to portray the plaintiff’s case as one of mere "buyer’s remorse".

The defendants argued that there were no recurring malfunctions. This presented a problem for the plaintiff who had to convince the jury that as a whole, the boat was not merchantable, despite the fact that the manufacturer defendants had complied with their express warranties. The plaintiff’s second challenge was how to hold the defendant Volvo which only manufactured the motor responsible for the entire boat.The matter was tried over a period of two weeks. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury deliberated for approximately five hours. The jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant on a special verdict. The jury awarded the plaintiff damages totaling $________ which consisted of $________ representing the purchase price of the yacht and $________ for the reasonable expenses in maintaining the yacht. The judgment was amended following the jury’s verdict to include an additional $________ which consisted of pre-judgment interest, costs of suit, attorney fees and post judgment indemnity for expenses maintaining the yacht. The judgment has been paid in full by the defendants.

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